Boris Johnson is planning to “love bomb” Scotland in a bid to stem support for independence.
The prime minister has made protecting the union a “top priority” in Downing Street after the SNP won 47 Westminster seats at last week’s election.
And it has been suggested that Senior Cabinet Minister Michael Gove, raised in Aberdeen, could be tasked with strengthening the union.
The Press and Journal understands that plans are being brought forward to invest cash north of the border through a UK shared prosperity fund in the New Year.
A policy unit in Downing Street dedicated to the union will also be beefed-up to “send a message” that Scotland’s priorities are being heard at the heart of government.
Alongside the manoeuvres in Number 10, the Dunlop Review, which is looking at how the union can be strengthened, has also been completed and is understood to be recommending the creation of a specific department for the union.
Discussions have also been had at a senior level about giving the UK’s nations a greater stake at Westminster through House of Lords reform.
Proposals being considered are similar to those previously mooted by Labour and would transform the upper chamber into an elected “senate for the nations and regions”.
All the proposals are aimed at putting the union on a more stable footing as calls for a second independence referendum continue to grow.
One senior Tory source said: “Boris will be looking to love bomb Scotland.
“Strengthening the union really is a top priority.
“We will be bringing investment forward to show the UK Government is there in Scotland and investing in communities.”
Michael Gove has been suggested as a figure to oversee the task of strengthening the union.
“He has been doing the preparatory work for a no-deal Brexit, but with the election result we’re able to leave with a deal, so this is something Michael could really now turn his attention to and get his teeth into,” the Tory source added.
Privately, some Scottish Tories fear that unless the changes are made and if the SNP were to win a majority at Holyrood in 2021, demands for a second independence referendum would “become very difficult to resist”.
The prime minister’s official spokesman yesterday poured cold water on the idea of a new department for the union, saying the Scotland Office would continue to operate as it was.
He added that the Dunlop Review was still only in a “draft form” and that its recommendations would be published next year.
Former Deputy First Minister Jim Wallace said he was “sceptical” of the proposals, but added: “Let’s wait to see the full detail.
“There are things that can be done to improve the situation.
“Part of it is to shake-up the Whitehall mindset, which since devolution has tended to put Scotland into a box and sometimes forgets that what they’re doing has consequences in Scotland.
“Within the whole structure of government it is often difficult to distinguish the English position and the UK position and I think that’s a crucial distinction that has to be made.”
On the question of extra cash, Lord Wallace said it should be rolled out through “a partnership between the UK Government and the Scottish Government”.
The Lib Dem peer, who represented Orkney and Shetland in the Commons for almost 20 years, added: “The union cause should not become seen as a Tory cause.
“If it does I think that will be counterproductive”.